Jim Carrey offered an emotional and passionate speech to graduating seniors during a commencement ceremony at Iowa’s Maharishi University of Management Saturday.
The actor showed a vulnerable side when opening up about his personal life and became emotional as he spoke about his father and his childhood.
“So many of us choose our path out of fear disguised as practicality,” the 52-year-old comedian told the graduates.
“My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant.”
The Dumb and Dumber actor urged graduates to pursue the career they love. Carrey said his father, Percy Carrey, had a typical life and made practical choices that contradicted the dreams he wanted to pursue in life. This led Carrey to take unlikely chances in his own life to pursue his dreams.
“I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you could fail at what you don’t love, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love,” Carrey said.
“Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, it’s opening a door in your head, and when the door opens in real life, just walk through it,” said Carrey.
The actor also spoke about the decision he made to “free people from concern” through comedy when he was 28 years old.
“I’ve often said that I wish people could realize all their dreams and wealth and fame, so that they could see that it’s not where they’re going to find their sense of completion,” he said. “Your job is not to figure out how it’s going to happen for you, it’s opening a door in your head, and when the door opens in real life, just walk through it.”
“No doubt some of you will turn out to be crooks, white collar stuff, Wall Street, that type of thing. Crimes committed by people with self-esteem, stuff parents can still be proud of,” he joked.
Carrey received an honorary doctor of fine arts degree during the ceremony and told the management students, “I cannot be contained because I am the container.”
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